Nongak, which had been passed down as activity inheritance and oral inheritance, began to be recorded in writing only from the 1960s; and, from the 1980s, it has been actively studied in the academic system. Also during the 1980s, research and studies on Nongak from a nationalistic perspective, the practice of the “Pungmulgut movement”, and the distribution and popular acceptance of Samulnori (traditional percussion quartet) appeared in the performances, studies, and education of Nongak: however, such circumstances around Nongak during the 1980s were related to the emergence of college students as performers who were professional performances from a college club which had been influenced by the “popular cultural movement”. Therefore the study discussed the role and meaning of “college students as performers” in the inheritance of Nongak focusing on Gochang-Nongak.
Prior to the 1980s, farmers, shamanistic entertainers who inherited, and entertainers who were previously farmers were active as performers of traditional Nongak, and there were their sponsors as landowners. Also during the 1980s, since Nongak people of each region in Gochang were called for, the “Gochang Nongak group” was formed. “Gochang-Nongak’ came to take shape centering on Panje of Hwang Gyu-eon, a leading gong-player. Meanwhile during the 1990s, as “college students as performers” joined the group, Gochang-Nongak faced a natural generational change in inheritance.
“College students as performers” were the performers of Nongak and at the same time they became the subjects of discourse who are able to mention the meaning and value of Gochang-Nongak. As a result, they summarized and recorded the history, the details of performances, and the characteristics of Gochang-Nongak; and they restored Nongak, which had been interrupted, and prepared it as a document thereby compiled Gochang-Nongak. In addition they made an effort in systemizing an inheritance activity and contributing to the cultivation of the Nongak group of each eup and myeon; thus they reinforced the position in the Nongak circles of Gochang.
While using the term “Gut” in the performance or inheritance activity, they were to realize the positive aspect of “Gut-culture” implied in this term in real life. In the inheritance activity, the appearance of having people experience the sense of communal unity and the live feeling of Nongak or of aspiring to the meaning of “Gut” style even in competition Nongak may be the cases of practice for the creative inheritance of Gut-culture.
The “college students as performers” are responsible currently for the overall inheritance of Gochang-Nongak, and they are not only coping with a changing Nongak inheritance environment but also striving to create an environment for the inheritance of Nongak that matches their aspirations.